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Viewing topic "Tempo Matching Audio in Cubase"

     
Posted on: April 06, 2018 @ 04:42 PM
Michael Trigoboff
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I’ve been asking about this over at the Steinberg user forum for over a year with no response at all. So I figured I’d try it here just in case there someone around who knows Cubase and wants to shine a light. The thread has three messages, all by me. They represent the history of what I managed to figure out working by myself over the course of a year.

At this point, what I’d mainly like to find out is the answer to my question at the end of the third post

Here’s the thread, and thanks in advance…
_______________________________________________________________

The Cubase 9 Operations Manual has a chapter on Tempo Matching Audio starting on page 488 (EDIT: This is from a year ago. In the Cubase 9.5 Operations Manual, the page number is 475).

I imported some audio, and went through the procedure described on pages 492 and 493 (EDIT: the 9.5 manual page numbers are 479 and 480), lining up all bars and beats as the instructions specify. I thought that by doing this, I could then get the audio to play at a steady tempo, and to play at whatever tempo was set in the project. And as part of what I thought I could accomplish, I figured that when I was done the audio would play in sync with the Cubase metronome.

I noticed that the procedure moved bar and beat markers on the lower of the two rulers in the Sample Editor. The upper ruler stayed exactly the same. And, surprisingly to me, the Cubase metronome always stayed in sync with the upper ruler. In other words, all the bar and beat adjusting I did as I followed the procedure had absolutely no effect on the Cubase metronome.

Meanwhile, there’s another procedure in the manual starting on page 929 (EDIT: the 9.5 manual page number is 899) which shows you how to do Tempo Detection. I successfully used this method to tempo-match my imported audio to my project.

All well and good, but it leaves me wondering what the point of the first procedure is. As far as I can tell, all I accomplished with the first procedure was to line up bars and beats on the Sample Editor’s lower ruler, but that ruler does not seem to affect anything. Can someone help me understand what the point of that first procedure is, and how to use the results of it?
_______________________________________________________________

I finally figured out what the deal is with the Sample Editor and the two rulers. The top ruler is just the time layout of the project. The bottom ruler is the “definition” of the audio file, i.e. where the bars and beats are.

The main thing that was messing up all my experiments was that I didn’t understand the difference between Musical Time Base (a track property), and Musical Mode (a property of a particular segment of audio). As a result, sometimes I was setting MTB when I really needed to set MM, and as a result I wasn’t getting consistent results and couldn’t figure out what was going on.

Now I can see that the two procedures are just different ways to set up the “definition” for the audio.
_______________________________________________________________

I just looked into this some more, and it seems that the two procedures are entirely separate from each other. I now understand how to use either of them. But I’m wondering why there are two of them.

Does anyone know? Are there some things that one is better for than the other?

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Posted on: April 07, 2018 @ 07:41 AM
philwoodmusic
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Hi Michael,

Doesn’t one allow you to change the audio to fit your project without affecting pitch (or pitch without affecting tempo), and the other allow you to change your project to fit the audio?

The first procedure looks to me like VariAudio.

I would use that on short segments of audio that have been recorded at the wrong tempo (or perhaps the wrong pitch but near to what I need).

Let’s say I have a short but perfectly in time piano part as an audio file and it is at 103bpm, but my project is 101 bpm, I could easily use that to change the tempo of the piano part to fit in my project without affecting the pitch.

Not affecting the pitch is critical, because traditionally in audio, if we change the speed of something, we also change the pitch of it. These tools are sophisticated enough to make that a thing of the past.

I could also change the pitch without affecting tempo, if tempo wasn’t the issue and pitch was.

The second one, fitting the project to the audio, would be used if you had some audio which was perfect as it is, but the timing drifts. You’d map the tempo so that your project drifts in the same way and then you can add your own tracks alongside it and they will all drift in the same way as your audio file.

When I looked on page 929 I got something about ‘Defining Naming Schemes’ and not a similar procedure.

Please could you link to the exact manual you’ve been using.

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Posted on: April 07, 2018 @ 09:52 AM
Michael Trigoboff
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philwoodmusic - 07 April 2018 07:41 AM

Hi Michael,

Doesn’t one allow you to change the audio to fit your project without affecting pitch (or pitch without affecting tempo), and the other allow you to change your project to fit the audio?

Came the dawn! That was the crucial idea that I was missing. Thank you so much! Now I know why there are the two procedures.

Please could you link to the exact manual you’ve been using.

I just edited the initial post in this thread with updated page numbers from the Cubase 9.5 Operations Manual. The chapter from one of the methods starts on page 475, and the procedure I mentioned is on pages 479 and 480. The other procedure starts on page 899.

A year ago I was using Cubase 9, and the original page numbers were from that Operations Manual.

Thanks again! I miss everyone at motifator.

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Posted on: April 07, 2018 @ 11:18 AM
philwoodmusic
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That’s great, we’re only a click away you know, it’s not like you have to drive to us.

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Posted on: April 07, 2018 @ 02:07 PM
Michael Trigoboff
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:-)

Thanks, Phil.

Believe me, from now on any questions I have about Cubase, this is going to be my first stop.

It’s too bad they never opened up a Montage section here.

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Posted on: April 07, 2018 @ 02:44 PM
philwoodmusic
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You’re welcome.

It’s a shame that some of the great historical Cubase users aren’t contributing here any more.  They know it inside out and much better than I do.

Because I haven’t used it in quite some time, I usually think about the software I do use and kind of relate it back to Cubase to get a result.

Your question today is universally relatable to the most commonly used DAWs.  Logic has Flex Time, Pro Tools has Elastic Audio and Beat Detective, Ableton has Warp. and it all does the same sort of thing.

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Posted on: April 07, 2018 @ 09:22 PM
Michael Trigoboff
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So, out of curiosity and if you have the time, I’d be interested to hear what you think of Cubase vs the other DAWs. Ease of use? Capabilities? Etc.…

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Posted on: April 08, 2018 @ 06:05 AM
philwoodmusic
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I had many years as a happy Cubase user. I picked it up in the early 90s after quite a few years with a program called Steinberg Pro 24 on Atari ST, when it was MIDI only.  I rarely encounter Cubase at work nowadays, so I’ve lost touch with much of it.

My main problem with Cubase over the years is that it looks like they’ve had ‘too many cooks’ spoiling the development ‘broth’ and the product looks and feels like the result of an argument, rather than a flowing set of studio relatable functions inside a studio relatable layout.

Many of the terminologies for procedures are initially difficult to understand without always consulting the manual.  That may partly be due to terminology which is copyrighted elsewhere though.

The number of available versions or editions of Cubase over the years and the quite expensive upgrade model put me off it too.

There’s really nothing controversial to say in how it compares functionally to competitors, because they all have pretty much the same set of features and they have all been plateauing for quite some time, very much like keyboards.

I suppose I can sum Cubase up as being quite difficult to learn and bureaucratic, but easy to use once you know it, when competitors are quicker to learn and relate to a recording studio.

There’s really nothing new in DAWs and it has been that way for several years.  The next thing for Cubase, much like other software, could be that customers will rent the use of it.  That’s certainly not an upgrade to my mind.

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Posted on: April 10, 2018 @ 03:20 PM
Michael Trigoboff
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That’s all good information.

Given the amount of time and effort I’ve spent learning Cubase, it sounds like there’s no particular reason to climb a new learning curve. Thanks for helping me put my mind to rest on that score.

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Posted on: April 11, 2018 @ 01:22 PM
philwoodmusic
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Michael Trigoboff - 10 April 2018 03:20 PM

That’s all good information.

Given the amount of time and effort I’ve spent learning Cubase

...and cash!

Yes, I think you’re sensible to stick with it.

The grass also might not be greener on the other side anyway.  You might prefer how Cubase does things.

For example, the one thing I miss from my Cubase days is the Drum Edit page.  Other products have similar editing pages, but nothing quite like it.

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